Background and Aims: Post-operative vomiting (POV) in children remains a significant clinical problem. This prospective study aims to investigate the applicability of well-established adult early post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) risk factors on paediatric POV after adenotonsillectomies under regulated anaesthetic conditions. Methods: After Institutional Review Board approval, 213 children aged 3–10-year-old were enrolled. The participants had pre-operative questionnaires completed, followed protocolised anaesthetic plans and had saliva analysed for cotinine. The primary outcomes were POV as correlated with age, gender, family or personal history of PONV, motion sickness history, opioid use, surgical time, anaesthetic time and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure, as assessed by cotinine levels and questionnaire reports. Data on analgesics, antiemetics and POV incidence before post-anaesthesia care unit discharge were collected. Statistical analysis was done through multiple logistic regression. Results: A total of 200 patients finalised the study. Early POV occurred in 32%. Family history of PONV (odds ratio [OR] = 5.3, P < 0.01) and motion sickness history (OR = 4.4, P = 0.02) were highly significant risk factors. Age reached borderline statistical significance (OR = 1.4, P = 0.05). None of the other factors reached statistical significance. Conclusion: Early POV occurs frequently in paediatric patients undergoing adenotonsillectomies. In this paediatric-aged group, the incidence of POV was affected by the family history of PONV, and history of motion sickness. Age, female gender, opioid use, surgical and anaesthetic times did not affect the incidence of POV. ETS exposure, as assessed by cotinine levels and questionnaire reports, had no protective effect on early paediatric POV.

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Published in Indian Journal of Anaesthesia, v. 61, issue 12, p. 964-971.

© Indian Journal of Anaesthesia | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

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The authors would like to thank the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network for the awarded grant and their general help for managing this research project.